21 June 2011

Director of ‘Save Lolita’ PSA wins two Telly Awards

Television commercial director Daniel Azarian took home two bronze Telly Awards for a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that details the plight of a captive orca named Lolita.

The 90-second “Save Lolita” PSA tugs at the viewer’s heart strings by humanizing the story of the 45-year-old orca that was taken from her mother in Puget Sound over 40 years ago.

Lolita has been held captive ever since, living in the Miami Seaquarium in a 35 foot wide tank that violates Department of Agriculture size regulations.

"I wanted to appeal to people who might not understand how unethical Lolita's situation is by presenting her predicament through human eyes," said Azarian. "Research clearly shows that orcas are sentient, emotional, and highly intelligent beings who are aware of their surroundings. To see such a beautiful 22-foot creature in a tiny 35-foot-wide tank seems inhumane. I felt compelled to do something."

Even though animal welfare groups have formulated a retirement plan that would allow Lolita to eventually experience the freedom of open waters, Seaquarium ownership has repeatedly refused the offer.

Lolita PSA from Underdog Entertainment on Vimeo.

Eric Fortney | @elfortney | email
Eric is the co-founder and executive editor of the animal rights and eco-friendly news source, This Dish Is Veg. In addition to his work at TDIV, Eric is a father of three, runner, and lover of the outdoors.

Photo credit: savelolita.org